School Board Office: 703-228-6015
Barbara Kanninen joined the Arlington School Board on January 1, 2015 and currently serves as Vice-Chair. She is a Ph.D. environmental economist, children’s book author, and school and community leader who served on the School Board’s Early Childhood Advisory Committee, Math Advisory Committee, and Advisory Council on Instruction, as well as the County Board’s Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee and the Board of the Youth Ultimate League of Arlington.
On the School Board, Barbara has served as liaison to the South Arlington Working Group, Whole Child Working Group, Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families, and Student Advisory Board. She knows that every child is more than a test score and is committed to expanding opportunities for all students to develop their critical thinking, creative, technical, and job skills. She will continue to tackle overcrowding with constructive, positive community engagement and make sure we always focus on what matters most: supporting teachers and students in the classroom every day.
Barbara is a former assistant professor at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, senior economist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Gilbert F. White Fellow at Resources for the Future. She is the editor of Valuing Environmental Amenities Using Stated Choice Studies: A Common Sense Approach to Theory and Practice and author of a number of articles published in peer-reviewed journals. In 2009, Barbara received the prestigious Publication of Enduring Quality Award from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. Barbara has a Bachelor’s degree from Ohio University, a Master’s from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Barbara is author of a forthcoming children’s picture book, Circle Rolls, as well as A Story with Pictures, which was judged a “Picture Book We Admire” by the Children’s Literature Network. She has published stories and articles in children’s magazines, such as Highlights for Children and Ladybug, and written early readers and textbook material for curriculum companies, such as Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, Core Knowledge Foundation, and Kaeden Books. Barbara has visited schools and libraries all over the D.C. area and Virginia, sharing a love of reading and writing with children, parents, and teachers.
Barbara and her husband Kevin have lived in Arlington for over 20 years and have two sons, Fred and Markus, who were both K-12 Arlington Public Schools students. Fred now studies civil engineering at Penn State. Markus is a senior at Yorktown High School and also attends the Career Center.